“I want to take away the stigma of rappers and how when you tell someone you’re a rapper, they say, ‘Ah, you’re just a rapper!’ I don’t want to be a joke or frowned upon. I want rapping to be something people do because they want to have a voice and they want to help other people.” Melbourne rapper Verocky (AKA Aaron Verrocchi) has independently released his debut EP and hopes it’s his first step in breaking a stereotypical stigma that surrounds the genres of rap and hip hop.

From a young age, Verocky had his sights set on music and implemented creative dreams and goals for himself. As a primary school student, he would use every spare moment to write – in class, out of class, whenever he could. “I just wrote lyrics. I was really big on poetry and when I got into high school, I started listening to hip hop and really enjoyed the genre. I love all music, but I really like the lyrics in hip hop and rap, so I started to write my own, record covers and went from there. Ever since, I’ve just been performing and writing music,” he said.

Verocky draws inspiration from rappers such as Eminem who has been a guide for him to find his voice to write about personal experiences. “I write about what I’ve been through and what I’ve seen. I was really observant growing up and a lot has happened. I find the best way to explain things is through lyrics and through writing.”

Earlier this year, Verocky made his official debut with Verocky EP: The Fürst, which is made up of five extremely personal tracks.

“It’s good to be on platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud and Apple Music. I’ve tried to make it so I can reach as many people as possible. When you tell people, they’re really proud of you, especially friends and family. I’m motivating myself to write more music because I love it and need to stop worrying about what other people think, but I’m finding that difficult, but music benefits me in the end.

“My mate Murphy Wilde produced my album. I had made all the music from scratch and wrote all the lyrics. It was at his house, in his own studio, that I was able to record. I couldn’t have done it without him. The EP wouldn’t have happened without him, so it was really nice. He’s a good friend.”

When you listen to Verocky’s EP, you’ll learn extensively about the person and musician he is. Each song delivers a personal meaning “I write about relationships, family and friendships. The song Five Years, which I wrote as a single and is the first track on the EP, is about the last five years which is where I’ve been creating the most music. Five years ago, is when I first performed live in front of 2,000 people at Cancer Council’s Relay for Life. That’s where my career started and the ups and downs occured.

“Pages is about a friend who was battling with his mental health. Up The Wall is kind of like a rock style. I made every song different. I didn’t want to be one of those artists that sounded the same, sounded like everyone else, so that was kinda a rock style to change it up. Deep Rest is about depression and anxiety. I’ve had a lot of people in my life who have suffered from that, including myself. A lot of people have told me this track has helped them. The lyrics in it have inspired them to not give up. For What It’s Worth is a song about my journey. I mention in there how I’ve had people judge me.”

After putting such personal and heartfelt songs to the public, Verocky has learnt to deal with feelings of vulnerability, but says “That’s definitely what I want. I find it hard to explain myself and talk to people, but when it comes to writing, I find I can express myself easier and better. Some people say it’s a talent, but I don’t believe it like that. I just think it’s natural.

“I hope I can help other people through my music and not be like every other hip hop artist around doing the same stuff. I just want to be different. I want to take away the stigma of rappers and how when you tell someone you’re a rapper, they say, ‘Ah, you’re just a rapper!” I don’t want to be a joke or frowned upon. I want rapping to be something people do because they want to have a voice and they want to help other people. I don’t want being a rapper to be a bad thing. I want more people to do it.”

Verocky’s next track, Abstract, will be released on December 29 and he hopes the track opens people’s minds. “The track is a personal one about my life, so people can get a better understanding of who I am. When I release a track, I’ll say to people, ‘Have a listen. This is something I’ve created.’ They’ll listen to it and not expect it. The most common response I get is, ‘I didn’t expect that from you.’ I ask, ‘Well, what did you expect?’ and they say, ‘Well, I don’t know.’

“That’s the thing – I’ve found people judge. It’s natural. People judge before they get to know you or before they listen to your music. I wish more people gave it a chance. I wish more people gave underground and smaller artists a chance when they don’t have records. I don’t have my own equipment. My mate is helping me and I wish people helped each other more.”

With a new single to be released and a hometown show in Mildura on March 29 for Relay for Life, Verocky plans for a bigger and better new year, including working on his first full-length album.

Verocky said his aim for 2019 is to bring out music that’s different – music that means something to people and inspires those who have been in the position himself and those close to him have found themselves in. “When I’ve been down and felt like there’s no hope, music’s always been there for me. I want to use that for other people when they have no hope. My music will be there for them when they have no hope.”

Verocky strives to prove to the people who said he couldn’t do it that he can and already is succeeding. “I just want people to give things a go and stop prejudging and underestimating someone’s ability or existence in general. Everyone has a reason and a purpose in life. They might not know it, you might not know it, but it will come out eventually. I hope my music can do that for people.”